tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg March 22, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
tensions are high after russia and allied troops seize ukrainian military facilities in crimea. moscow approved a treaty enabling the region to join russia. president obama announced further sanctions on russian officials and financial institutions. >> this is not our preferred outcome. sanctions would not only have a significant impact on the russian economy, but could be disruptive to the global economy. russia must know that further escalation will only isolate it further from the international community. >> russia has announced sanctions on u.s. officials in response. i am joined by the president of eurasia group, and the author of "soviet fêtes and lost alternatives, from stalinism to the new cold war." and from washington, a professor at columbia university and senior fellow at the council on foreign relations. i am pleased to have each of them on this program.
give me a snapshot of where we are today. we just heard from the president. we had the response from russia. >> where we are today is that the administration is trying to show that the first list of measures that it announced on monday -- a few -- a rather small number of people, not particularly closely related to putin were given visa bans. today, they are trying to show they are much more serious about it. they have announced a number of measures expanding the number of individuals who are sanctioned, giving the president the authority to target sections of the russian economy, and looking forward to meetings next week in europe, when the president will be working with other members of the g7 to formulate a broader response. broadly speaking, this is a step
forward in which the american government is trying to get its act together, showing it is taking the crisis seriously and is not being deflected to the global and american economies. it is trying to signal this is a very serious crisis. >> i fear -- actually, i think that we are three steps from war with russia. two steps from a cuban missile crisis. those two steps, both been discussed in washington and russia, would involve moving nato troops to the polish and west ukrainian border. i do not know how serious those discussions are, only that aircraft are already there and nato is moving troops around. if it happens, putin almost certainly would move those
150,000 soldiers he was practicing a week ago and sent back to the barracks inside russia into south and eastern ukraine. that would be the cuban missile crisis, and war would be one step away. there is, one hundred percent certain, a way out of this through diplomacy. the russians have put a proposal forward. so far as i know, the americans have not responded. >> what is that proposal? >> i need a piece of paper, because it is complicated. i thought about it, coming down. this is what the russian foreign ministry is saying.
an end to the nato expansion to ukraine and georgia, he wants a moderate government in kiev, without the people he calls neofascists, and if you are there in that government. he wants to continue a russian-ukrainian economic relationship. and he wants to federalize the ukrainian constitution. that would give the pro-russia people in ukraine some say. but he would give in return -- that was -- >> that was my next question. >> it takes two to tango, although i personally cannot tango. putin would in return recognize the new key of government. he does not recognize this government. secondly, he would pledge not to inspire more separation is an in ukraine. and russia would help ukraine avoid the abyss in which they stand, possibly by continuing to use national resources. >> do you consider it reasonable? >> i consider it a reasonable starting point.
we have an agenda, and we have to think about it. >> it will be hard to do because secretary kerry already said if the russians proceed with annexation of crimea, as putin said was going to happen, that that was the end of diplomacy. he needs to walk that back. speaking points from the united states have been all over the place. john kerry said that all options were on the table. a couple days later, obama says there will not be any engagement of military excursions on the ground in ukraine. he is not going to provide military support for the ukrainians, and the ukrainians would not want that. these sanctions are real. as of today, they are real. they have economic impact. we will now see major capital flight from russian oligarchs, with holdings in the united states and europe.
they will move to other places. but they will not oppose putin. his popularity has only increased through this ukrainian crisis. the deal steve mentioned does not involve any agreement from crimea. the americans have said it is unacceptable for the russians to stay in crimea. for the russians, the current ukrainian government is illegitimate. that is a chasm. i do not believe we are close to a war with russia. we do not want military escalation. i do think the likelihood this becomes destabilizing is significant. >> if russians do certain kinds of things, there could be a nato response. >> sure, but i do not see this going beyond ukraine. i think the russians find this ukrainian government unacceptable. they will work to overturn it. the question is whether they will do so economically and diplomatically -- >> is that a reasonable position with respect to that government, since the president was overthrown, the democratically
elected president, in the manner he was? >> there are no good legal arguments for the americans on the ukrainian government overthrow. there are no good legal arguments for the russians on the crimean referendum. what we are really talking about is that ukraine is by far the single most importing national interest the russians have, a russia that has been in decline structurally for over 20 years, demographically, geographically, militarily, economically. they put a real red line on crimea and ukraine. >> i think ian is right. we are not on the brink of war, but we are at a very dangerous moment, arguably the most dangerous moment since the end of the cold war, because the russians have begun to dismantle their biggest neighbor. and that is a drastic step that has alarmed all european governments, and makes it
extremely hard to consider real diplomacy with president putin. whatever you think of his proposal. putin has kind of cast himself as an international outlaw, and that makes it very, very difficult to just sit down at the table calmly and look at individual proposals. broadly speaking about their proposal, the big problem is understanding whether or not what the russian aim is is to be able to dictate the composition of ukraine's government, the structure of ukraine, and its foreign policy. the devil is always in the details in diplomacy of this kind, but a lot of the specific provisions are extremely far-reaching. they are not really just the federalization of ukraine, which sounds sort of innocuous. they come very close to the breakup of ukraine. that, combined with fears about what putin is really after,
given what he has done this week, is going to make it extremely difficult for people to sit around the table and talk calmly about this. >> that is an interesting point to me, having listened to lots of people at this table in the last two or three weeks on this. is it possible, because of his own economic well-being -- not his, but the country's -- that effective sanctions will influence him and cause them to either stop or pull back? >> i do not think so. i think this is a misjudgment on the part of the united states. there are no reasonable sanctions that are achievable. we cannot get there. to put the kind of pain on the russians that would make them move, the interests are asymmetric. the level of importance of ukraine to putin is too great.
putin gave a speech this week to the upper house of the parliament, and it was seen as this historic speech all over russia. i would say a strong majority of russians have been waiting for a leader to give the speech for 20 years now. the belief that the united states does not have russia's interests at heart, is willing to defenestrate. you finally have a leader who is willing to stand up and say, absolutely no more. his popularity has only shot up since the ukrainian crisis started. >> you have been saying that for 10 years. >> 20. >> i think you cannot get out of a bad place unless you know how you got him. i have been arguing since the 90's that the constant expansion
of nato for the russian borders, which is now in the baltics, was going to eventually lead to something like this. ian pointed out something important. read putin's speech. you can disagree with it, but it tells you where he is coming from. he used the expression "red line." one is georgia and one is ukraine. for geopolitical and historical reasons, we crossed the red line in georgia in 2008, and there was a small war. he believes -- he may be wrong about this, but he sees the nato coming to ukraine and believes we have crossed a red line. what you got is what you got. steve's position i understand. but if we were to deconstruct each thing steve said, that means that either putin withdraws from crimea or there are no negotiations. i maintain there are no negotiations with all of the provocations every day -- snipers, the tail wagging the dog -- we could get to work. we have to begin negotiations. it does not begin with putin, after what he did this week,
saying nevermind, i sent crimea back to ukraine. >> i agree that getting crimea's status changed is not the primary focus of policy right now. and sanctions are not going to do it, for exactly the reason ian mentioned. the sanctions are really meant to symbolize western alarm. steve is right also that we need to know how we got into this crisis. how we got into it is that putin had a strategy for bringing ukraine into his orbit, and it blew up in his face. it could not be sustained in ukraine itself. he sought an economic subordination of ukraine to russia. the only way in which he thought
you could control the popular response there was by a bloody crackdown, which brought down his agent, president yanukovych, who was ousted by unanimous vote of the entire ukrainian parliament, including every single member of his party. it is a pretty legitimate government, actually. the problem we have now is not so much how to reverse crimea status. just as most of the cold war was not about changing bulgaria's status. the real issue is how to make ukraine succeed, rather than have it dismembered by russia. that is going to take a very ambitious and creative policy on the part of the west. >> the idea i assume you are talking about is that ukraine would a relationship with russia, but also the eu. those things could benefit everybody. >> sure, and the new government in kiev is talking exactly that line.
this week, the prime minister said a number of very important things about the future course he sees. it is a very divisive issue in ukraine. he said, the eu is getting his market to us, and without any invidious measures that might be harmful to eastern ukraine, to the russian economy, the new government is trying to find a way to unify the country, to put the economy back on its feet, to unite the society at a time when the russians are doing everything to create social tension. i think there is no way to describe russian policy as other than terribly threatening to the post-cold war order. i think the ukrainian government, by contrast, is acting much more calmly and
responsibly to try to keep the peace. >> one quick thing. do you believe that putin believes that the demonstrations leading to the overthrow of yanukovych was aided and abetted by the united states? >> i do not know, but here is what he does believe. that on february 21, the european union foreign minister signed an agreement with yanukovych that would have kept him in office, gotten protesters off the street, and brought a process of reconciliation. that document, which russia did not sign, was dead in the water 12 hours later. he feels the fact that the united states and european union did nothing to enforce that document, which led to this, indicates our complicity. >> and indicates on some level a failure of american foreign
policy. >> here is the problem. i do not want to implicate ian. he speaks for himself. i would say the difference between the two steves is the difference between war and peace. in his mind, it is russia and putin that are responsible for this mess. i ask you this question. i was raised in kentucky, and they taught us there are two sides to every story. is there anything true and legitimate than the russians have said or done in this crisis, including what putin said in that speech? if there is only that much that is true, that is where you begin to negotiate. but steve does not have a word of legitimacy for anything that came from russia. look at what henry kissinger
wrote. it was one of the great things he ever said. demonization of putin is not policy. it is an alibi for not having a policy. >> steve, do you want to respond to that, and then i will come back to how you see putin and how steve cohen things you see putin? >> i do not think i should be the subject of this discussion. i am happier to make putin the subject of the conversation. i think putin had every opportunity to respond to the change of government in ukraine in a way that kept passions calm, that created an opportunity for multiple interests to be served, and to avoid a crisis. without demonizing him, i think you can say that every step of the way since then, his actions have escalated the crisis, have created anxieties within russia,
within ukraine, and among ukraine's neighbors and throughout europe. the fact that he has gained some popularity at home, to my mind, is not a real justification for deeply irresponsible policy. if steve wants to say that whipping up the russian public makes what he says true, fine. but really, read the speech carefully. the speech is a kind of justification for a very far-reaching overthrow of stable arrangements that the countries that emerged out of the former soviet union, enjoyed amongst themselves, which made it possible to keep the peace. now, the peace is threatened. i think that is primarily the
doing of one man. >> the fact that putin has been demonized through this process -- putin has blood on his hands. he was more than happy to support yanukovych as he was cracking down in ways that reduced his legitimacy. the americans were very happy to jump on that immediately, in ways that would have been completely unacceptable to anyone in the u.s. administration if we had been on the other side. lord knows we have been able to support anti-democratic things if we have a strategic interest. leaving all of that aside, what is going to happen now? the russians have escalated every moment. having said that, the obama administration has escalated at every moment. the fact that we do not know where they are willing to go does not mean both sides have not given as good as they got. within an hour of new sanctions, the russians had sanctions back that were net and talk. the russian foreign ministry came out yesterday and said they were considering changing their engagement in the negotiations
process on iran. they have taken this very seriously. if the u.s. is going to continue to ratchet up as the russians look at something which they consider to be in their backyard, an illegitimate government, the escalation is going to continue. not only will we have economic pain that will go further beyond the couple individual billionaires and folks that bank them and their real estate -- it will have real economic impact. we also will have a russia that will be geopolitically dangerous and destructive everywhere that happen to have influence. that is not a new cold war. china is not involved. china is not going to support them. the most important thing that gives us reason for optimism about a global event is, the chinese have abstained. they have said virtually nothing you can read anything into.
they do not want to be attached to the russians or americans. leave them alone. in terms of anywhere russia has influence -- iran, syria, around their borders, and some of the countries that could be destabilized, like poland and northeast estonia -- clearly, we are going to have some instability. >> you you not think this could lead to war? >> i think that if you talk about trade war, absolutely. if you talk about capital flows -- >> isn't it more likely to have a significant detrimental impact on the russian economy, and pressure on them? >> russia is weak, but not ready to collapse. this is not egypt. this is not ukraine, begging for cash. this is a guy that was prepared to take $15 billion and write a check to the ukrainians. the russian people are not doing incredibly well, but there is growth. the fact that they are a shadow
of what they were 20 years ago does not mean we can push the guy into oblivion. putin is not going down. this is the same guy that was prepared to allow pussy riot to be freed from prison because they were not a threat to him domestically. he should not underestimate the capabilities of someone who believes we are trying to strip away his singular most appropriate asset. steve sent that americans need to read a speech from a world leader who fundamentally disagrees with us and does not sugarcoat it. we have too many people out there that disagree with us and do sugarcoat it. >> you are speaking to the converted when you say people ought to read speeches. i think people put in speech what they intend to say. so, where are we going to go? >> let us try to move it ahead of little bit. i agree completely with ian that american diplomacy has not performed well.
statements were said that are regrettable. now, you have an additional problem. >> that is true with syria too. >> putin personally does not trust president obama. he thinks he is irresolute, has a short attention span, and goes back on agreements. it is well-known known in the russian establishment that he does not feel obama has come forward. >> he talks on the phone all the time. >> god knows. >> there are two hours here, another here. he must like it. >> i am going to sharpen the focus. putin does trust angela merkel. she speaks russian. he speaks german. she is in a complicated and difficult position. any negotiation russia accepts
will have to be cosigned by merkel. putin is not going to take john kerry's word. he is going to say to them, have angela merkel call me. >> obama, as he is talking to putin, is reaching out to her. >> you want to know why? just to give you -- >> i generally ask questions because i want to know the answer. >> a good question is better than a bad answer. i certainly say that. there are several examples. let us go to libya. the united states said to russia, support a no-fly zone over libya so gaddafi cannot attack the insurgents. russia said, it is just a no-fly zone. you are not going to bomb gaddafi.
we did, and it led to his assassination. since then, putin has not trusted anything that came out of the president. he said in the speech, we have been deceived and betrayed. he used those words. do i lie? the same in russian and in english. he said, the least we can do is say, what are we talking about? we do not deceive and betray people. there is some misunderstanding. he is thinking of the promise we would not expand nato. he is thinking of what he did for george bush after 9/11. putin did more for the war effort in afghanistan than any nato country, and what did he get in return? the united states left the international ballistic missile treaty, the bedrock of russian international security.
do you know what they told him? >> didn't obama come back and negotiate that? >> the so-called reset, what people of our generation used to call a detente. they said to putin, you are appeasing america. you are an appeaser. it has got to stop. there are politics in russia. >> let me close on this. tell me how you see who has influence on putin, and where is their leverage with him? >> there are two groups around him. one wants to keep a good relationship with the u.s. they had a debate. they lost. he went with the other side. >> listening to competing factions within russia. the point of it is, the crimean question has left the station. it is in the russian federation. it is going to stay there in our lifetime. moving on, i hope that somewhere we all know about, serious people from washington, moscow,
and maybe berlin are sitting at a table like this, having a conversation that is quite different from what obama and kerry and putin are saying at this point. >> what should the president of the united states do that he is not doing? >> i think right now, the president cannot get chancellor merkel to solve the problem for him, as much as we might like him to be able to, and as much as steve would like that thought. right now, chancellor merkel is just as outraged by what putin has done as any other western leader. my guess is, around the g7 table last week, you will have a pretty unanimous video. the immediate problem that the west faces is how to shore up ukraine. that means a strategy that is much like the containment strategy in the cold war, which is checking russian power without war.
without war. that means building up an effective ukrainian economy, society, and governmental system. putin has a lot of incentives to have a pause. the u.s. could try to put ukraine back on its feet. that is probably the window of opportunity we should exploit most. i agree that diplomacy is not likely to offer a way out, because the distrust is so great. ♪ >> larry harvey is the cofounder of the burning man festival in nevada. it started in 1986 and has grown to the largest outdoor art event in north america.
last year, it hosted over 68,000 participants. here is a glimpse from the documentary "spark -- a burning man story," which came out last year. >> we arrived at this vast plain. i took a stick and drew a line on the ground. i said, on the other side of this line, everything will be different. and everything has been different. ♪ ♪ >> the place is an idea. it is so powerful and so alluring. people will go to the worst place in the world just to get a little taste of it.
it is very disconcerting in one week to realize that everything you have done in your entire life could potentially be wrong. >> i walked away from burning man, and i have ideas. i still have a long way to go. >> it is great to build giant stuff and blow it up. >> you people here today are the people, from this moment on, that create the framework and the cauldron that will cook their souls. >> in order for us to survive on this planet, we have to engage thousands of millions of people. we have to do it. we are giving our lives to that. it is that important. >> meet larry harvey. i am pleased to have him here at this table for the first time.
>> it is my pleasure. >> what is the idea that will bring so many people to not the most attractive place, or the easiest place? >> it is not easy at all, although it is an international city in its own right. it is a wilderness survival experience. >> what brings them? >> i think it must be because they find something there that is not readily available elsewhere. a certain sort of authenticity. it is a little like what daniel pink talks about, motivating people in the workplace. you can apply that to what we do. he says people need to experience autonomy, mastery, and a sense of purpose. >> autonomy, mastery and a sense of purpose. >> that is what we do.
metaphysically. i am, we are, it is, but it is the same arc of meaning. it is the sense that you are real in yourself. or that you use your abilities, your gifts, to converge with the world. and lastly, the old-fashioned idea of transcendence, and that you are connected to something much larger than you are. in fact, you can do all three at the same time. that together, we think, makes a whole life. we describe it in 10 principles that we follow. >> how did it begin? >> it began in the impulse of an afternoon. i called a friend and
said, let's burn a man. what was i doing at the time? i had gone through a series of place holding jobs that afforded me as much free time as i could. i had become part of a bohemian milieu in which whimsy amounts to our iron will. it seemed plausible. we went to the beach and set it on fire. our numbers tripled, because by burning human form -- if you put one up at the republican national convention, the people would sit down in front. it would so compel. it was very accessible. we had to explain it to the state. when they ask us what it means, we say, you have to achieve that
through your own perception. through what you are. >> who came? >> originally? >> curiosity seekers? >> originally, it was a small group of -- in the underground culture in san francisco -- it is an international city for that fact. they came, and it was a group called the cacophony society. we were on the beach. we moved to the desert. and they were devoted to guerrilla theater, appropriating public places for performances, that kind of thing. even in the desert, where there is so much nothing, the least gesture had a world-engendering power. it is any artists dream to have a campus like that. it spread through word of mouth, and our numbers doubled and redoubled. now, we are at -- >> 70,000? 70,000 people? >> 68,000 people. we have a good relationship with the bureau of wildlife management. we think we can increase the population. >> explain to us -- most people do not understand this.
what are the rules? what is the organizing principle? for example, you do not buy things there. >> we have decommodified. there is no advertising. we do not do any of those things that are normal. you cannot really use your cell phone. it is a retreat from the normal world. while you are there -- we have 10 principles. they emerged from our own experience. >> they are interesting principles. >> radical self-expression, which means you just have to
decide what makes you real and put it out there. and radical self-reliance. but at the same time, communal effort. that's founded on the idea that you find yourself in this world through your relationships with others, and through -- i spoke of that experience of mastery, the sense of flow in which you move with others, and they in turn work with you. that creates community reality that makes you feel you belong. >> people came to wanted to create art. >> yes. and we are the largest interactive art exhibition in the world. but we say -- we have a saying. people come for the art very often, but they stay for the community. and if you look at the art, if you look beyond -- there is a lot of spectacle and a lot of
very ambitious things that require armies of artists to do. they are very organized, self organized. if you look beyond that, you see that it says a lot about social organization. in order to do that, they have to fund raise. we give out grants, but they fund raise. there are communities contributing to a work of art that is going to contribute at the event. it is a funny thing. we never said this. is is just culture and operation. no artist group has ever signed their work. isn't that extraordinary? we never told them that. >> they do not feel necessary to sign it. >> we did say, this is devoted -- it came out of a bohemian
world, where people are very generous about giving things. you go to an artist's studio and your eyes keeps dropping on one thing, and finally the artist says, do you want it? i made it already. i am working on something new. >> the joy of creation, that is what i got. >> we organized a city around that idea out of bohemia. it is devoted to acts of giving. they do not contemplate a return. we take transactional economics out of it. >> here is what is interesting. some say it is therefore a kind of anti-capitalist coming together. and yet at the same time, the people who come are some of the most successful capitalists in america. who come for the experience. larry page, sergey brin, the high-tech community take all kinds of people, and the venture capital business come there for
something else. it is community, autonomy. >> we never said we were anticapitalist. we did say that we think we need to critique and get away from consumerism. which is another proposition altogether. >> everything is about buying something. >> everything is about buying something. your entire identity is invested in what you consume. we said, that is not an authentic life. it looks like we were right, because people are coming from all over the globe to see what that feels like. there is an empirical way of looking at it. we have a lot of people from silicon valley coming out from early on. in a way, we are a little like them.
i do not want to overdo the analogy. they work on a frontier. at google, i know they put aside time -- >> 20%. >> autonomy and mastery. they do that. they naturally looked at us as cousins, in a sense. we were on the cover of wired magazine years ago. and then people from that industry began piling into the event. they said, they are going to ruin it.
>> did they give you feedback that people say "you changed my life"? they were imbued with relationships that made them rethink what they were doing? >> incessantly. it sounds like a conversion experience, you know, in religious terms, when they say we are a cult. we reply that it is a self-service cult. you wash your own brain. >> what is the cargo cult? >> i do these things. it took the phenomenon of the cargo cults in melanesia, in which indigenous people were so disoriented and impressed by the -- >> crazy story. >> the americans occupied the islands, build airstrips. >> in world war ii. >> the only explanation they could come up with was the supernatural. they looked at them as avatars, perhaps ancestors come from the skies. and so when they left --
>> and one day they were gone. >> and so the people who lived there began building airstrips and planes out of bamboo, looking through sympathetic magic to attract their return. i just said, isn't that the way we live today? we do not know where anything is made, where it comes from. they say it is all stored in the cloud. and we live on our cell phones, carrying them around, these totemic objects. we know the way we live is not sustainable. we are just hoping that more cargo will save us. i really wanted to suggest that acquiring more things probably is not the path. but we did not -- >> did you want to be a proselytizer?
>> we want to change the world. yes we do. we just transferred the event. it has been privately held all these years by myself and my partners. we have just surrendered ownership; we have given it to a nonprofit that has been created. its aim is to disseminate our culture on a global scale. >> so there will be burning man everywhere? >> that would be the beginning. we look at it as an immersive experience that brings change to people's lives individually, helps them to form relationships socially. once they leave, there are burning man communities on five continents now. we did not tell them to do this. they did it. we just organize to help it keep happening. we imagine that as just a
beginning, emulating our city, creating immersive experiences. of another way you can be. an ethos. globally, it would have tremendous leverage. on the granular level, we are a little like silicon valley, in that we imagine we create a platform, but it is the people who create the apps. it is the people who create the context, people create the content. recs where did you get these ideas? >> being raised by dust bowl immigrants. my father was born in 1899 and came west in a model a ford. they worked as migrant workers. i knew a lot about self-reliance. coming to san francisco when i was young, and later to live there -- i have been there a few years -- i walked into this bohemian scene i had always dreamed of.
that had a big effect. the principles themselves were not written until 2004. it is not outside of your experience. it all emerge from what we did and the heart and minds we brought to resolve our actions. the community is not very tolerant of central authority. they just inhaled these things. there must be a real residence there. >> this is an image of a man on fire from the 2013 festival. >> that is standing on a flying saucer, the man. that is cargo cult. the aliens had come to give us consumer items and save us. >> the temple of juno were featured in 2012. created by david bass. -a good friend of mine. he has built many of these.
other people have jumped in. >> how long does it take him to do this? >> about three weeks. >> the next is the trojan horse, one of the largest independent projects. and then "burn wall street," which was engulfed in flames at the conclusion of burning man 2012. this is the art car created by mark whitman. >> art is our public transportation. >> the chatterbox art car. the church trap, a large-scale interactive art piece by rebecca waits. >> i love this piece. the church is supported by a giant stick. the pews are inside. it is precariously perched, like a primitive mousetrap. you can interpret it from there. >> larry page, ceo of google,
proposed a tech earning man. >> i remember. >> this was in may 2013. he said, we do not want our world to change too fast, but maybe we could set apart a piece of the world. i like going to burning man, an environment where people can change new things. as technologists, we should have places where we can try new things and figure out the effect on society and people without having to deploy it to the whole world. what it is is a laboratory. >> it is a laboratory. there is technology and there is art. it is a fascinating inter-zone where art and technology are confabulating with one another. people take drones and say, how can we turn drones into art? there is a lot of that. it is very cross disciplinary. the thing about our art especially is that it is
interactive. not until people act in relation to it and involve themselves with it -- it elicits actions from the audience. it is not done until that happens. that makes art do something that it ceased to do in the modern era after a while. it generates community around itself. that is a new standard for public art. art that requires community for its creation, engenders community in its advent, links people together. cultural heroes do not do that anymore. we have another organization that is placing art around the world. it is called the black rock arts foundation. we are going to fold it into the burning man project. >> there are those who say -- it is this idea.
when someone comes up with a great idea and it grows and becomes bigger, and people you would not expect to be at the founding, and make it part of who they are, what they are, it becomes, in somebody's judgment, too mainstream. are you aware of that? is it a false claim? >> i agree that what can happen over time in any institution is that it will cease to be a matter of discovery and become something that is merely received. but i think -- but of course -- burning man produces this culture in the community.
i think as long as we design an institution as meshed by that culture, as it wants to manifest, as animated by that -- that is really an interesting challenge. we want to last for 100 years. so we have to find a way that burning man can reinvent itself and the institutions of burning man can keep rediscovering things, as we did as founders. as far as it being mainstream -- >> i cannot imagine. >> by mainstream -- i guess they mean mass-produced, mass-consumed, denatured, inauthentic, things like that. we have always been -- the reason we are drawing so many people is that we represent a virtual antithesis of that. that is why we seem so novel and attractive to people. that is the very essence of our success. so i am not really worried about that. >> thank you for coming. >> thank you. ♪